Extreme Sports and Pizza: My Trip to Vaujany
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There’s something strange about going to a ski resort in summer. There’s no snow. Most of the shops are empty. And most obviously, you can’t ski. Which I hear is important to the whole “ski resort” thing. Going to a ski resort in summer is like going to Wembley Stadium when there isn’t a game. It all looks impressive, but there’s bugger all going on. Or so I thought until I went to Vaujany. Vaujany is a small village in the French Alps. Their economy used to be based on a dam down the mountain. But then someone realised that machines are awesome and don’t moan when overworked or ask for silly things like pay. So now two people man the dam’s technology and everyone else tries to attract holiday-makers. Of course, most of the holiday-makers come during ski season. And most of the locals leave as soon as it’s over. Walking through Vaujany’s near deserted streets and past its abandoned shop fronts feels like some deadly force has swept through. Yet, the pristine appearance of all the empty buildings, and the quaint look of the village juxtapose with this sparse inhabitancy. Almost like OCD zombies have attacked the populace, then rigorously cleaned and restored the place. The village looks like the setting to an episode of Midsummer Murders, but with so few people it looks like the Midsummer Murderer won. Vaujany in the summer is what would happen if Wes Anderson made a post-apocalyptic movie. Yet, despite all I’ve said about how barren the place was (three bloody analogies. Someone’s pulling out all the stops), there was still a surprising amount you could do.
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